Microsoft developed Windows Media Audio (WMA) in an effort to undermine the MP3, Apple’s AAC compression, and other codecs. Since its initial introduction, the format has grown to support a range of audio types beyond compressed audio — from high-fidelity audio and multi-channel surround sound, to a compression algorithm specifically tailored for the human voice.
However, while WMA still remains widely used today, the number of devices and programs that support the proprietary codec pales in comparison to those that support MP3. If you listen to music on anything remotely similar to an iPod, you’ll likely have to convert your WMA files into a more accessible format before enjoying your tunes.
Fortunately for you, we’ve put together a simple guide for converting WMA files into MP3. There are a variety of methods for you to choose from, whether you prefer web-based or third-party desktop programs.
Convert using Cloud Convert (web-based)
Lunaweb Ltd.’s freemium Cloud Convert is mainstay in the conversion world. Though the intuitive software has remained in the public beta phase for more than a year, it still allows you to quickly convert between more than 100 different file formats — including WMA and MP3 — provided your files are less than 100MB. Moreover, the resulting audio quality is great, and the site features a simple-to-use interface that’s also completely devoid of ads, making it easy on the eyes.
Step 1: Navigate to the main Cloud Convert home page and click the Select files button located in the center of the page to upload a file from you PC. Alternatively, you can click the arrow to open a drop-down menu where you can upload from various locations like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Step 2 — Once the file is uploaded, click the box next to your file’s name to select the format you wish to convert to — in this case, MP3. You can also select if you want to create an archive file, which is particularly helpful if you’re converting multiple files. Cloud Convert displays handy information on whichever file format you’re converting to. Click on the wrench icon to the right of your desired conversion format to access the advanced options. You can fine tune a number of settings, including the resulting bit rate and audio frequency.
Step 3 — From there, there is a final menu at the bottom of the page to specify whether you’d like to receive the resulting file(s) in Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. Keep in mind that Cloud Convert will simply provide you with a download link if you don’t check a box. We suggest setting the bit rate to 192k or higher, and the sampling rate to 44,100Hz, if you’re looking for high-quality audio. Click the blue Okay button at the bottom of the pop-up window when you’re satisfied with your settings.
Step 4 — The final step is to click the red Start Conversion button and wait for the process to complete. Once finished, click Download, or navigate to the save location you previously set to retrieve your newly-minted MP3!
Convert using Online Convert (web-based)
Online Convert may not be as visually appealing as other web-based converters, but it gets the job done, and supports a number of different conversion types (including WMA to MP3). Like Cloud Convert, Online Convert features a 100MB limit when it comes to source files. That said, Online Convert is a wonderful and straightforward way to convert your files without having to install any third-party software.
Step 1 — Head over to the Online Convert home page and select the Convert to MP3 option under the gray Audio converter box in the upper-left corner of the page. Afterward, click Choose files near the middle of the page, and select the the desired file you wish to convert from its respective save location.
Step 2 — Like the previously-mentioned Cloud Convert, Online Convert allows you to customize a number of settings when converting MP3s, such audio bit rate and the resulting sampling rate. Adjust the settings as you see fit within the optional settings box, trimming the resulting file if desired. Again, MP3s sound best with a bit rate set to 192k or higher, and with a sampling rate of 44,100Hz.
Step 3 — Once you’re satisfied with the settings for the resulting file, simply click the gray Convert button at the bottom of the page and allow the software to convert your WMA. Your file will automatically download once its finished converting!